Group Counseling

Group counseling is a type of therapy in which several students meet with a trained therapist(s), often focusing on a common goal. Members learn from others' experiences, receive and give feedback, receive support and learn that they are not alone. Groups offer individuals the opportunity to share personal concerns in a safe, confidential and supportive environment. Research shows it to be as effective as individual counseling, and for some issues, it can be more effective. Students can benefit from group therapy in many ways:
  • Connect with others facing similar issues
  • Learn and practice new skills in a safe space
  • Share experiences and gain perspective from talking with others
  • Improve self-awareness, self-confidence and social skills
  • Enhance acceptance of self and others

Counseling Services at Sindecuse Health Center offers several groups open to current Western Michigan University students. Most groups meet weekly and are open to new participants. Please call Counseling Services at (269) 387-1850 or register with the button below if you are interested in participating. Prior to engaging in group therapy, all participants will be asked to complete a pre-screening with a counselor.

Register For a Group

Groups offered Spring 2024

Please call (269) 387-1850 to see if a group is active. If participation is low, a group may not continue to the end of the semester.  Groups meet weekly for the duration of the session.

Art Therapy

Session 1 starts Feb. 5, 2–3:30
Building a foundation for coping skills and growth to managing stress from negative and/or traumatic experiences through art. 
Facilitated by Jessi Ailstock, LPC, ATR—registered art therapist and Vanessa Marr, Ph.D, LLMSW

Finding Connection, Thriving in Relationships- Interpersonal Process Group

Session 1 starts Feb. 8, 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m
Session 2 starts Mar. 21, 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m  
Friendship, romantic partnership, associations, acquaintances, family, professional relationships. Participants will explore connection within various kinds of relationships; how connection is formed, and what makes connection and relationships meaningful. Ways to establish, maintain and navigate relationships as they evolve will be explored. This group is open to all enrolled students interested in exploring ways to thrive within relationships. 
Facilitators:  Melissa Plair, MA, LPC and Tatyana Smith, DGA.

Graduate Students of Color Support Group

Session 1 starts Feb. 9, 10–11:30 a.m.
This group offers support to students of color navigating the experience and challenges of graduate school at a predominantly white institution. 
Facilitators: Danielle Standish, Ph.D., and Melissa M. Plair, MA, LPC.

Know Thyself! This is Me

Session 1 starts Feb. 7, 2–3:30 p.m.
Session 2 starts Mar. 20, 2–3:30 p.m.
Self-discovery group for all individuals who want to know more about themselves. Explore your personality, values, & interpersonal styles.
Facilitators: Mary Z. Anderson, PhD. and Grace Orlando, LMSW.

Level Up

Session 1 starts Jan. 2612–1:30 p.m.(16 weeks)
Therapeutic Dungeons and Dragons Group:  Get creative. Build skills. Explore new worlds as well as yourself. Train your dragon. 
Facilitated by Susanne Stefanski, LPC.

Mindful Meditation – In Person

Session 1 starts Feb. 9, 1011:30 a.m. 
An experiential mindfulness / relaxation group.
Facilitators: Grace Orlando, LMSW and Kim Berning, LMSW.

Project Calm: Practical Coping Strategies for All the Things

Session 1 starts Feb. 7, 10:30–11:30 a.m.
Learn and practice practical and evidence-based techniques useful for coping with anxiety, depression, PTSD, panic attacks, sleep disturbances, and test anxiety and more.
Facilitators: Kim Berning, LMSW and Suzanne DeGraves, LPC.

T-Break: A Cannabis Reset

Session 1 starts Feb. 7, 10–11:30 a.m., meets every other Wednesday after that.
If your relationship to cannabis is causing problems in your life, a T-break might be worth your time. A T-break, or tolerance break, is an intentional break from cannabis use for a set period to prevent or interrupt the development of tolerance (needing to use more to get the same effect).  This workshop provides support and education for those considering or already navigating a tolerance break. We also provide space to gain perspective regarding whether or how one might maintain a healthy relationship with cannabis after their break. 
Facilitator: Brian Fuller, Ph.D., LLP.